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Author Topic: Progress Update: October 23rd, 2016  (Read 1596 times)

Kyzrati

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Progress Update: October 23rd, 2016
« on: October 23, 2016, 06:50:37 AM »

Well, Alpha 11 release week was even crazier than I expected it to be! It started off rather calm, as I was ahead of schedule on my release prep, but as soon as Tuesday hit and the release went out... craziness.

Everything was going great, and then minutes after release the regular players in chat found several bugs worthy of hotfixes. It was very useful having that kind of instant feedback! (But also very tense...) So I quickly tracked down and patched the bugs, doing a stealth update rather than incrementing the version number.

It was a really bad decision to release Cogmind's largest-ever single update without any outside testing. Before release I was actually considering giving it to a few of the regulars for a quick test, but decided I would just put it out there as usual, and if anything went wrong and required a hotfix, this would be the last time I ever test solely on my own (so yeah, next time I'll be doing closed testing :P).

Anyway, resolving those bugs in a timely manner turned out to be extra helpful because that very afternoon RPS put up a rather favorable news piece about Cogmind. Of course I was absolutely floored, since I thought Alpha 11 was going to be "just another major alpha milestone" like all the others, and suddenly there's this article... it felt like last year's EA release day all of a sudden, with lots of website visits, lots of people talking about Cogmind--I was incredibly busy keeping up with it all. (There were a number of website content updates I've been putting off which all happened that day xD. Sudden motivation!)

After already having crunched for a couple weeks straight to make up for dev time lost to the Roguelike Celebration, I was exhausted by release day, and with all that other stuff piled on top, I felt pretty close to complete burn out :/

Finally getting outside for some exercise helped--it had been raining for weeks but I decided to ignore the weather and go biking through the rain and mud for a couple hours anyway :D

So after such a big release (and article) there are both a lot of new players, plus a lot of old players coming back to see where the alpha's at. Already 650 submitted runs in the first week and a half! Lots of new discoveries among the many new world areas... and a dozen wins. On that note, I've compiled some stats from Alpha 10 for you.

I'm currently working on some new articles for the blog, a multi-part series on "Weaving Narratives into Procedural Worlds." The first of those will be ready and posted soon.

At the request of Kalkkis, I've installed Semantic MediaWiki on our Grid Sage Wiki which will allow users to automatically build lists of items and other objects based on different parameters. Should be pretty useful (you did know we have a wiki, yeah? ;) ).

This week I also decided to get a head start on The Great Utility Update, which has been planned for a while but by necessity was awaiting late-alpha so that adjustments would be less likely need reworking more than once due to changes to other more central parts of the game. Yes we're totally in late alpha now :D. I was going to wait even longer on the utility updates, but it's a better idea to start about now so there's enough time to gather anecdotal evidence regarding any further balance changes that might be necessary.

Alpha 12 release notes will talk some more about this stuff, but for now here's an example, Core Heat Shields which are actually useful ;)--they now raise the temperature threshold before any negative effects from overheating start to occur.


And many of you have been asking for it, so here it is: the new borderless fullscreen mode!


I recently also fulfilled a few simple REXPaint requests, so there's a new pre-release patch that includes swapping foreground/background colors across a layer or image if anyone happens to need that.

Whew, lots to say!

Still haven't decided exactly how we're going to do this last stretch before 1.0, which is something I've been thinking about a good bit more lately. There are a lot of valid approaches each with their drawbacks and benefits, but right now I'm leaning towards just finishing the game before even putting it on Steam, so that (stupid business) side of things doesn't interfere with all the cool content and features I'd like to add!
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